Movie Cycles: Religious Epics

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, there was a cycle of religious–Jewish, Christian–epics.

Some critics believe that their production was motivated by the fear in Hollywood of blacklisting on the one hand, which drove producers and directors to make historical movies set in the past.

The cycle arguably began with Cecil B. DeMille’s Samson and Delilah in 1948, which was a huge┬ácommercial hit.

It was followed by:

Quo Vadis (1951), starring Robert Taylor

David and Bathsheba (1951), starring Gregory Peck and Susan Hayward

The Robe (1953), starring Richard Burton

These epics or pseudo-epics were overblown productions, star-driven, with excessive running time.

In time, they became known as “Sword and Sandals” epics.